Colony building sims

Is it just me or are there more and more colony building simulation games* in development? Of course, I will be the last person to complain here because my first big game love on the PC was the Cultures series and they are close to colony builders. Or at least, what I loved about the game is what I love about colony builders: You have individuals with names that can marry, you can move them into specific houses etc. And you’re building up a settlement and sometimes, you also need to defend it.

Oddly enough, I do not love RimWorld. I didn’t buy it for a long time because I am not too fond of the whole “harvest organs” part of the game. But you don’t need to play cruel, so it’s all good. Still, before I got that one, I bought Going Medieval. I love building in that game and how you can make your settlement look pretty. Not that mine ever do, but I still have the option.

RimWorld is obviously a great game and I like it. I just don’t love it.

Bookahnerk told me about Norland. We both have it on our wishlist and we will take a closer look once it releases. What made me interested was their description of being a mix of RimWorld, Crusader Kings and Caesar. Well, mostly the part of the Crusader Kings because I really like this game for the stories I experience. I don’t really know why, but I don’t like the graphics of Norland too much. Considering that I love Prison Architect and don’t mind the graphics there at all, this seems weird. Although it could be all the brown and greenish colours… Thankfully, it’s about the gameplay and not as much about the graphics with these games! The buildings, however, look cute!

Norland

I bought Lords and Villeins and bookahnerk bought Noble Fates, so we could check out both games. After a couple of days, we now also bought the other game respectively.  I didn’t even know Lords and Villeins existed until I got that 10 € coupon from Epic** and was searching their store for a game in that price range. It isn’t that much like RimWorld, but it’s close enough in that you’re building a colony of sorts. Your villagers belong to families who get to take care of a part of your land (either as farmers, foresters, fishers, etc.), but they do not have personality traits and as far as I can see, they don’t interact with each other apart from buying and selling their items. But you do get to choose if you want to take in another family and give them some of your land or not. There are also production chains – like the farmers and foresters being able to have pigs and cattle and having the butcher just around the corner. I like that some parts of the game are indirect because the families go about their business, produce whatever it is they produce and as a tax, I get some of their money and some of their products (you can choose how each zone is taxed)!

Lords and Villeins

In Noble Fates, I get to play as an orc leader (or human, but that’s boring)! They’re so cute with their tiny fangs. When I started my game, I knew I wanted to play as an orc. You get a choice of one character out of four randomly generated onces to choose as your king/queen. Two of the remaining three will join you, the fourth doesn’t like you and wants to leave. Luckily, all four characters were orcs. Two were male, two were nonbinary (not sure if there are no female orcs or if I just didn’t have one). I chose the one that likes farming because I always want to rely on farming in these games more so than on hunting or fishing. They’re a nonbinary orc. Oh, and apart from regular raids coming from kingdoms at war with you, there are also demonic invasions to fight against.

Noble Fates

Norland and Noble Fates show up with “similar to RimWorld and Going Medieval” for me on the Steam store. Lords and Villeins shows with “similar to Going Medieval and Jurassic World Evolution 2”. The latter leaves me a bit surprised. There are no dinosaurs anywhere and I did not put my villagers inside of fenced areas. They get some land and I tell them what to build where, but they are free to leave whenever they want to! And no visitors to stare at them either. But I agree that this game, out of the three, is the least like RimWorld. It fits to Going Medieval because of the medieval setting in each game, I guess. And you have to build up the houses and your manor, place structures, furniture items and so on. So it is also very much like one of these colony building simulation games.

The developers of Norland will release their game when it’s done and finished later this year, by the way. Going Medieval, Lords and Villeins as well as Noble Fates are all in Early Access. So, as always, be careful if you’re interested in these games and only purchase them if you think you get your money’s worth now or if you want to support their development! I personally haven’t played Lords and Villeins or Noble Fates enough to tell you a lot, only that I’m enjoying both games so far. Going Medieval was my favourite game of 2021, so that’s a definite recommendation (again, if you’re okay with buying an Early Access game).

Since the orcs and humans in Noble Fates talk about liking and disliking human, orc or imp meat – raw or cooked – and this doesn’t bother me, I guess what I don’t like that much about RimWorld is more the serious science fiction setting? In Noble Fates, everything is rather humorous. But well, I don’t want to complain about RimWorld. On the contrary, I just really am surprised to see that there’s more games from that genre that each brings something new enough, so that I don’t regret throwing money at the developers despite already owning the reigning king (RimWorld, obviously, in case you were wondering).

*I am not using the term in a strict “RimWorld-clone” way.

**Here is the link to Lords and Villeins on the Epic Store. I do not get anything from linking to Steam – or Epic or any other store – but I prefer Steam links in my blog posts because it comes with user reviews. :) But in this case, Lords and Villeins is cheaper on Epic than on Steam, so I figured I should put this link in here as well.

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